By Wisdom Mumera
A few months after ‘receiving’ the full mantle of electoral power President Emmerson Mnangagwa faces the kind of situation that few rulers envision when panting for power.
He has the power but nothing else on him. No political traction. No economic foothold. No legitimacy.
The economy which has been on its back since former President Robert Mugabe has worsened under him with the increased absence of fuel magnifying the rot.
Whereas debates about bond notes and other fiscal issues are real, fuel shortages have an increased reality about them, pricking the eye with their mind-numbing length and crowds along highways in defiance of state propaganda.
The large crowds assembled by the shortages are however the very antithesis of the crowds ED (Mnangagwa) would have loved during the campaigns.
They have no time for empty sloganeering or political zealotry.
“This guy should admit that he has failed simple. Sometimes there is more heroism in admitting defeat than refusing to accept the tragic truth of one’s shortcomings. We are grateful that he removed Mugabe, but running the country has proved beyond him,” said one queuing motorist.
Another added that “ED and his sweating partner are not made out for this. The results of their failure are there for everyone, what else do they need to see before they move out?
The most pointed rejoinder on ED’s rule was a rhetoric question.
“What else can we say that isn’t being said by the length of this fuel line? questioned another woman.
It’s a stark indictment of his large electoral billboards laden with promises that less than a year after elections, however, contested, the supposed winner is already under fire to move out.
Breezing into power under the wave of a new dispensation to sweep clean the dirt of Mugabe’s years, ED’s early days are a far cry from the futuristic rhetoric he has been churning.
The grit and shortages of everyday life have made his 2030 visions and anti-litter campaigns bombastic madness.
Melanie Robinson the new UK Ambassador to Zimbabwe had practical advice for him.
“I can reiterate our commitment to everything we can do to help Zimbabwe along the pathway to a brighter future in the interest of all citizens based upon strong and sustainable fiscal and economic reforms and human rights,” she said.
The fuel queues and tripled kombi fares speak of the absence of sustainable fiscal and economic reforms.
CBD to Norton now costs anything around $5, Chitungwiza between $3.50 and $3 whilst a 7-minute breeze to Warren Park is around $1.50 and $2.
These happenings are a stark revelation of the emptiness of rally speeches, a shortcoming of attritional politics and everything wrong about expired politicians who can’t just give in.
ED faces a defining moment in his long political career as he has to find a message to give to all those waiting in 5km long fuel queues and all those who are now paying thrice the amount for kombis.
Or he can just throw in the scarf.